The State Litigation Authority called on the 50 member Constituent Assembly to reconsider several of the changes made by the legal experts committee to the 2012 constitution.
The State Litigation Authority serves as the government’s legal representative. Its recommendations to the Constituent Assembly came in a statement and include the reconsideration of Article 167 of the final draft of amendments to the suspended 2012 constitution submitted by the legal experts committee made up of ten legal and constitutional experts last month. These amendments are currently being further amended by the Constituent Assembly.
Article 167 reads: “The State Litigation Authority is an independent judicial authority that acts on behalf of the state in legal conflicts and suggests settlements to conflicts…” The article also states that members of the authority have the rights and duties of members of the judiciary.
Sameh El-Sayed, the authority’s spokesperson says this amendment removes much of the authority’s responsibility, “which opens the door for more corruption.”
Originally, in the 2012 constitution, the article concerning the State Litigation Authority had given it more power. Before the amendments, the article read: “The State Litigation Authority is an independent judicial authority that manages the civil prosecution and legal representation of the state in conflicts and manages the technical monitoring of legal affairs of the state’s administrative body…” It also stated that the authority drafts contracts and settles conflicts to which the state is party.
The legal experts committee removed a total of 37 articles from the 2012 Constitution. Among the articles removed is Article 204 which addresses the National Commission to Fight Corruption. The commission’s job included resolving conflicts of interests, spreading the values of integrity and transparency as well as creating a national strategy and coordinating its implementation. El-Sayed said the authority would like the cancellation of this article to be reconsidered.
The State Litigation Authority’s recommendations to the Constituent Assembly also include the reconsideration of Article 168 of the final draft submitted by the legal experts’ committee, which also diminishes the role of the Administrative Prosecution to investigating financial and administrative irregularities as well as starting and following through with disciplinary proceedings before the State Council.
In the 2012 constitution the Administrative Prosecution had the same tasks as well as “taking legal measures to address the deficiencies in the performance of public institutions.”
The State Litigation Authority also made a set of other recommendations, including one that called on the assembly to ensure that the constitution prohibits all forms of discrimination and recommended holding community dialogue over disputed amendments.